The evolution of the Ría de Arousa and the rest of the Galician coastline can be explained looking at the changing relationship between the environment -geographical support- and the society that inhabited it. The first settlements that appeared and prospered were relied on a fragile balance between the built, or the manmade, environment and the natural environment, in which the economic activities played the linking role. This relationship shaped the development of towns, their culture and a whole way of life.
In the last decades, the rapid development of the territory resulted in an independent evolution of these three elements, transforming the shape of the towns, increasing the scale of the economic activities and breaking the ecological balance of the environment.
The unique ecosystem of the area needs these economical, built and natural environments to work in balance. We observed at first hand the challenges that exist for the local economies, how dependent they are on the quality of the natural environment, and also how the built environment deeply influences this system. The protection of this territory is the basis of its development, but it is not enough to protect the natural or the patrimonial; a whole way of life must be protected.